POets

interfacing

the book

Amaranth Borsuk

University of Washington, Bothell

@amaranthborsuk

amaranthborsuk.com

          Sumer, 3300 BCE        Mesopotamia, 2041 BCE                  Egypt, 1900 BCE                        China, 1600 BCE

India & Sri Lanka, 200 BCE     Peru, 2500 BCE / 1500 CE               Greece, 800 BCE                        Rome, 55 CE

        China, 700 CE                            China, 800 CE                                China, 1200 CE                       China, 1300 CE

150 CE

Abbreviated timeline

  • 2800 BCE – 100 CE — Clay tablet
  • 2600 BCE – 700 CE — Papyrus Scroll
  • 1400 BCE – 300 CE — Waxed tablet
  • 150 CE – present — Codex
  • 600–1200  — Monastic illuminated manuscripts
  • 1041 — Chinese movable type
  • 1450 — Printing press, movable type, oil-based ink
  • 1932 — Audiobook records for the visually impaired
  • 1971 — Project Gutenberg Ebooks (Michael S. Hart)
  • 1986 — Earliest e-readers (Franklin, NuvoMedia)
  • 2007 — Kindle & iPhone
  • 2009 — Nook
  • 2010 — iPad
  • The Book as Object
  • The Book as Content
  • The Book as Idea
  • The Book as Interface

The book

Alison Knowles, The Big Book (1967).

Performative Materiality

As much acts of interpretation as material things, as much processes as objects, media are not merely storage mechanisms somehow independent of the acts of reading they record.

 

 

—Craig Dworkin

No Medium (2013)

Tender Claws, Pry (2014).

the Reader

It might be any art: an artist’s book could be music, photography, graphics, intermedial literature. The experience of reading it, viewing it, framing it—that is what the artist stresses in making it.

 

—Dick Higgins

"A Preface" (1985)

Emmett Williams, Sweethearts (1967).

Sweethearts, digital facsimile by Mindy Seu, sweetheartsweetheart.com

The Book as VR

A book is a sequence of spaces. 

 

Each of these spaces is perceived at a different moment - a book is also a sequence of moments.

. . . .

A book is not a case of words, nor a bag of words, nor a bearer of words.

 

—Ulises Carrión

“The New Art of Making Books” (1975)

Tunnel Under The Thames (S & J Fuller, London, 1826). Hand-colored peepshow. Collection of State Library of South Australia.

The Book as Cinematic Space

Michael Snow, Cover to Cover (1975).

The Book as Recombinant Structure

Regiomontanus, Kalendrium (Venice: Maler, Ratdolt & Löslein, 1476).

| Raymond Queneau, Cent Mille milliards de poèmes (Gallimard, 1961).

The Book as ephemeral

Wait, later this will be nothing

 

 

 

 

—Dieter Roth

Snow (1964/65)

Dieter Roth, Literaturwurst (1969).

The Book as mute object

Alisa Banks, Edges: Cornrow (2007).

t-h-e-b-o-o-k.com

Poets Interfacing the Book

By Amaranth Borsuk

Poets Interfacing the Book

Ada's Seattle, July 2018

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